Wild Light gets crowd dancing

Jordan Alexander of Wild Light (pictured here in New York earlier this year). Jordan Alexander of Wild Light (pictured here in New York earlier this year). (Jonny Leather/file)
By Sarah Rodman
Globe Staff / April 11, 2009
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Watching the members of the Boston-by-way-of-New-Hampshire band Wild Light bounce around the stage at Great Scott Wednesday night, it was easy to see why the Killers thought the group would make an ideal opening act on their upcoming spring tour.

The buzz-building quartet offer top-shelf musical goods in an attractive package: energetic songs with earworm hooks, singalong choruses, and rhythmic swagger that can kill at a club - as it did at Great Scott - but will also hold up well in a hockey rink full of people waiting for the headliner to come on.

Plus, Wild Light's affinity for various '80s inspirations - from the watery gray melancholy of the Cure to the dashing melodrama of the New Romantics to the arena-rock crunch of everybody else - is something Brandon Flowers and company can assuredly relate to. (This chameleonic blend is also probably what made them attractive openers for LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire.)

Playing its first gig in Boston since the release last month of its debut, "Adult Night," the band went full-tilt, quickly working up a sweat. They stopped only long enough to switch instruments - the three singers rotate playing guitar, bass, and keyboards - and offer some thanks. Then they got right back to the business of turning broken-heartedness into a tune you could dance to.

Particularly memorable was acoustic swinger "Heart Attack" and the slow-building "Surf Generation," sung with a silken sweetness by Timothy Kyle. While a few tunes took predictable turns, the band combined familiar pieces in pleasurable ways - especially on rocker "California on My Mind," which bundled spleen-venting lyrical anger and sunny instrumental pep into a savory delight.

Earlier in the night, Faces on Film completely captivated members of the audience crowded around the stage, despite having to compete with noise from the bar. Opening for Juana Molina recently, Mike Fiore presented a quieter, acoustic version of his group. But Wednesday night the band ratcheted up the volume to match the power of Fiore's yearning vocals, never losing the thread of his tender songwriting in the din.

Sarah Rodman can be reached at

WILD LIGHT With Faces on Film

At Great Scott,

Wednesday night